We are now half way through January. It's never to late to begin new habits that will be of benefit to our planet. R&B Timbers has shared the following article from The Frog Blog about five easy ideas for a happy and healthy new year for all.
1. Eat wisely (and no, it's not about sugar?)
As much as half of all food produced in the world ends up as waste. In landfill, this can lead to groundwater contamination and the production of greenhouse gases. Planning a weekly meal menu before you head to the shops can help to cut down on unwanted food that you may wind up throwing out. You can also reuse food scraps to make free compost for your plants with a worm farm or compost bin.
2. Lighten up (or not!)
Lighting can make up to 15 per cent of your household energy bill. Energy efficient lighting alternatives like LEDs are very affordable, using up to 80% less energy and lasting over 20 times longer than halogen lights. If you don't have the cash to upgrade your globes, just remember to switch off those you are not using, to cut down on power wastage and bills (plus carbon emissions). Seems only fitting since the United Nations has touted 2015 as the International Year of Light.
3. Drink guilt-free coffee
It's estimated that every year Britons throw away 2.5 billion takeaway coffee cups. Staying only a few minutes in your hand, they end up as landfill waste for 100 years. So for your next steaming pick-me-up, grab a reusable cup that most cafes are happy to fill. Some even provide a discount. They are dishwasher-proof, and make unique presents too. And if buying coffee for a home brew (or tea, for that matter), look for the Rainforest Alliance Frog Seal to help support smallholder farmers in other countries who protect the environment.
4. See the forest for the trees
Each time a tonne of paper is thrown away in the rubbish, that's 20 full-grown trees gone to waste. A fact made more sad when you think that Britons use 12.5 million tonnes of paper each year and most of it can be recycled. So, if you can't reuse it (think: wrapping, paper aeroplanes, origami, shopping lists), throw it in the recycling bin. And whilst we're talking about trees, consider buying wood furniture and other wood products stamped with the FSC-label (stands for Forest Stewardship Council). It's your guarantee that they come from certified sustainable forestry sources that meet strict environmental, social and economic standards. That's win-win-win.
5. Make every drop count
Seemingly abundant, it may surprise you to know that whilst more than 70 per cent of our Earth's surface is covered by water, only 2.5% of this is fresh water. And less than 1% of this is accessible for us to use. Climate change is making things worse, with severe droughts in some parts of Australia. Essential to life, water is a precious resource we can't afford to waste. So:
- Fill up your dishwasher and washing machine before you turn them on.
- Take shorter showers (it's not that bad, really) - using less hot water can also mean more money in your pocket from lower energy bills.
- Install a rainwater tank to recycle rainwater for toilet flushing and the garden, rather than drawing on town water supplies.